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Modi govt aims to revamp public health scheme, lower costs after criticism: Report

India’s health ministry has trimmed its cost estimates for extending its main public health programme by 25% after criticism from a federal think-tank over inefficiency and slow progress, according to government documents seen by Reuters. The new estimate of $25 billion for a three-year extension of the flagship health programme, down from an initial figure of about $33 billion, comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushes a multi-pronged agenda to revamp health services. Planned reforms include streamlining spending and bureaucracy, slashing prices of life-saving drugs and medical devices, and nudging companies…

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Study: Health costs of pollution in India 8 times of govt’s fuel subsidy

India spent $16.9 billion on oil, gas and coal subsidies in 2013 and 2014 but the health costs to meet the burden of air pollution-linked diseases was eight times more at $140.7 billion, says a report by an European environmental non-profit organisation. The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) assessed the spending of seven economically powerful countries on fossil fuel subsidies, and the health costs associated with fossil fuel subsidies. The report, `Hidden Price Tags’, said India can provide 375 million households with solar lamps or train nearly 32,000 extra doctors for rural…

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Wellness Programs: Improve Workforce Health, Reduce Health Care Costs

Take a look at your workforce – what do you notice? Are your workers participating in activities outside of the office? Does your office have a running club or a softball team? More importantly, as your employees look to be healthy outside of work, is your office doing what it can to promote a healthy environment while at work? Though some businesses may be straying from wellness programs in order to control finances, the indirect costs of poor health (e.g., absence at work) can be two or three times the…

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Smoking Costs $1 Trillion, Soon to Kill 8 Million a Year – WHO/NCI Study

Smoking costs the global economy more than $1 trillion a year, and will kill one third more people by 2030 than it does now, according to a study by the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Cancer Institute published on Tuesday. That cost far outweighs global revenues from tobacco taxes, which the WHO estimated at about $269 billion in 2013-2014. “The number of tobacco-related deaths is projected to increase from about 6 million deaths annually to about 8 million annually by 2030, with more than 80 percent of these…

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